An estimated 60 million Christians united together on 10.10.10 as part of Micah 2010 to pray that world leaders would live up to their promise to halve extreme poverty by 2015. Churches around the world held special Micah Challenge services dedicated to praying for the poor.
Joel Edwards, the International Director of Micah International, a global movement encouraging deeper Christian commitment to the poor says the unprecedented response by Christians on the historic date demonstrates their commitment to standing up for the poor as well as a fresh hope for those struggling to survive.
Dr Edwards says: “Christians will not allow political leaders to forget or try to water down their Millennium Development Goals to halving cases of extreme poverty across the world.”
On 10.10.10 countless people had hand written promises to remember the poor on pieces of cloth and signs as well as adding their names to petitions. These pledges will be delivered to an estimated 1,000 decision makers and leaders across the world to remind them of their commitment to halving cases of extreme poverty.
On that date some 30,000 people participated in five signature events, in Sydney, Chennai, London, Lusaka (Zambia) and Guayaquil (Ecuador). In Ecuador, 10,000 Christians marched along Guayaquil’s main street promoting justice for the poor.
Elsewhere in Chennai, India an open air concert for 5,000 was attended by both police and politicians, at which a memorandum asking the government to fulfill its MDG promises was drawn up. In Malawi, MP, the Right Honorable G Kamanya joined nearly 83,000 supporters by promising to improve standards at rural health clinics. Meanwhile in the UK, Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George, who represents Cornwall, was presented with 10,000 handprints made by members of six different churches in Penzance.
Micah 2010 is backed by a number of Christian organizations such as Youth for Christ Europe and North Africa, Urban Saints, Assemblies of God UK, 24-7 Prayer, Scripture Union International, Hispanic Church USA, New Testament of God, Redeemed Christian Church, Tearfund, Compassion Art, CWR, Kingsway Publishing, Christian Aid and Lausanne. Micah Challenge was launched in 2004 by two global bodies – Micah network of over 300 relief and development bodies and the World Evangelical Alliance who represents 420 million Christians – to be a voice of Christian advocacy against extreme poverty.
Internationally renowned worship leader, Martin Smith has contributed a theme song for the Micah 2010 campaign called ‘You have shown us.’ ‘You have shown us’ is part of an album of worship focusing on justice, mercy and humility, available from Kingsway. A set of Bible Studies called ‘Just Mercy’ written by Micah Challenge’s International Director, Joel Edwards, has also been written to accompany the journey of faith many Churches will be embarking on, together with a set of essays on the Churches responsibility to the global poor; ‘Micah’s Challenge.’